Italians best in Europe at dodging VAT, says study
Italy missing billions of euros in taxes due to evasion19 September, 19:41
By not cracking down on tax evasions, particularly on value-added tax, Italy lost 36.1 billion euros in 2011, according to the study by the European Commission.
France had the next worst record, losing 32.2 billion euros to tax evasion in 2011, followed by Germany with 26.9 billion euros lost.
The study says reasons for tax evasion include fraud but also bankruptcies and defaults, and the eurozone economic crisis which left more and more companies in such dire straits they cannot pay taxes owed.
Still, improving anti-fraud measures would "certainly help Italy to bridge the gap" between value-added taxes owed and what is actually paid to the government, said a spokesman for EU Taxation Commissioner Algirdas Semeta.
Across the 26-member European Union, lost revenue in 2011 totalled 193 billion euro, equal to 1.5% of GDP.